How to Write the "Killer" Resume in 2023
Hey! I have spent 2.5 years in the Finnish, EU industry scanning over 1000 resumes for various roles and then moving to a career coaching role where I have helped over 250 students construct their resumes. So, here is what I have learnt:
As an Aalto University student, writing a strong resume is crucial for standing out in a competitive job market. Your resume is often the first impression that potential employers will have of you, so it's important to make sure that it's polished, professional, and tailored to the specific job or industry that you're applying for.
Here are five key things to keep in mind when writing your resume:
- Profile summary: Your profile summary is a brief statement at the top of your resume that introduces you to potential employers and highlights your most relevant skills and experiences. It should be tailored to the specific job or industry that you're applying for and should give employers a clear sense of what you bring to the table. Make sure to emphasize your strengths and achievements, and try to use keywords from the job description to show that you're a good match for the position.
Example: "Highly organized and detail-oriented HR professional with 5+ years of experience in administrative support roles. Skilled in managing multiple projects and priorities in a fast-paced environment, and adept at maintaining confidential employee records and handling sensitive information with discretion. Strong communication skills and a track record of building positive relationships with employees and management. Seeking a challenging HR admin role where I can apply my skills and experience to contribute to the success of the organization."
Now you can also categorise these in bullet points to make it seems less clunky, so the choice is yours!
- Project experience: As an Aalto student, you likely have a lot of project experience that you can showcase on your resume. Make sure to highlight any relevant projects that you've worked on, including the skills you developed and the impact that you had. This can include individual projects that you completed for coursework, as well as group projects that you collaborated on with other students. Be sure to quantify your results whenever possible (e.g. "increased website traffic by 50%").
Unless you have had more than 1 year of work experience, I would try to position this section right after your profile summary and education section. You can even decide to put your education till the end, but most students tend to put it at the top because it is under progress :) You can choose!
- Work experience: While project experience is important, it's also crucial to highlight any relevant work experience that you have. This can include part-time jobs, internships, or volunteer work. Make sure to emphasize the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the job that you're applying for, and use concrete examples to demonstrate your accomplishments. For example, if you worked as a sales associate at a retail store, you might highlight your success in meeting sales targets or your ability to provide excellent customer service.
Consider having at least three bullet points for your work experience - also try not to be repetitive. And yes! Feel free to put all of your work history, even if it was a sales gig or a job at McDonalds, everything counts! Of course, if you have 1-3 really good and relevant experiences, you can then start to omit the irrelevant ones.
- Language: The language you use on your resume should be clear, concise, and professional. Avoid using overly technical jargon or acronyms that might not be familiar to potential employers. Make sure to use active verbs to describe your experiences and achievements (e.g. "developed," "managed," "led"). And don't forget to proofread carefully for typos and grammatical errors!
Best practice is to have 2-5 people read and give feedback to your resume!
- Presentation: Finally, the presentation of your resume is important in making a good first impression. Use a clean, simple layout that is easy to read and navigate. Stick to a standard font and size (e.g. Times New Roman, 12 pt) and avoid using fancy graphics or colors that might distract from your content. Make sure that your resume is formatted consistently throughout, with clear headings and bullet points to organize your information.
There are many templates on canva.com, also cultivatedcareer.com and good old "google docs" that can help you design your resume.
By keeping these five key things in mind, you can write a resume that showcases your strengths and accomplishments, highlights your relevant experience, and catches the attention of potential employers. Remember to tailor your resume to the specific job or industry that you're applying for, and to keep it up-to-date with your most recent experiences and achievements. With a strong resume in hand, you'll be well on your way to landing your dream job!